"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)

"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
"John Scully's" comic strip that has a farewell every day (drawn and written by Ruben Bolling)
September 19 is the last post for this blog. Thanks to all my readers!

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

30 April 2014

 Birthdays
Dianna Agron b. 1986 (I am Number Four, Heroes)
Gal Gadot b. 1985 (Justice League, Wonder Woman, Batman vs. Superman)
Kirsten Dunst b. 1982 (Melancholia, Spider-Man, The Crow: Salvation, Small Soldiers, Jumanji, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Kunal Nayyar b. 1981 (The Big Bang Theory)
Johnny Galecki b. 1975 (The Big Bang Theory, In Time, Vanilla Sky)
Michael Chaturantabut (Charmed, The Time Machine, Power Rangers Lightspeed Rescue)
Kevin Sizemore b. 1972 (Resurrection, Under the Dome, Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Dollhouse, Supernova)
Adrian Pasdar b. 1965 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Heroes, Near Dark)
Perry King b. 1948 (The Day After Tomorrow, Slaughterhouse-Five)
Lars von Trier b. 1956 (Melancholia, Kingdom Hospital)
Gary Collins b. 1938 died 13 October 2012 (Watcher Reborn, The Fantastic Journey, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, The Sixth Sense [TV], King Kong vs. Godzilla)
Larry Niven b. 1938 (winner of 1971 Hugo and Nebula for Ringworld)
Cloris Leachman b. 1926 (Lake Placid 2, My Boyfriend’s Back, Hansel and Gretel [1987], Wonder Woman [1975], Young Frankenstein, Twilight Zone)
Al Lewis b. 1923 died 3 February 2006 (The Munsters, Lost in Space)
Phil Brown b. 1916 died 9 February 2006 (Superman, Star Wars: A New Hope, Twilight’s Last Gleaming, Journey to the Unknown)
David Manners b. 1901 died 23 December 1998 (The Mummy [1932], Dracula [1931])

Last year I had the guys from The Big Bang Theory in the Picture Slot and there's a good chance they'll be in the slot a year from now. Other iconic choices would be Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane Watson, Al Lewis as Grandpa Munster and Phil Brown as Uncle Owen in the original Star Wars. But instead, I went with Pretty Girl = Picture Slot and a little controversy, showing this picture of Gal Gadot, who will play Wonder Woman in a series of upcoming films. Ms. Gadot is 5'9" (175 cm), which is certainly tall enough, but fans are quick to point out:

1. She is not blue eyed.
2. To put it politely, she's not Lynda Carter.

As Spike Lee said a few years back, being an actor is not an easy gig. Both the fans and the people who hire you are constantly judging you by your looks, and the situation is more pronounced for women than for men.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 

Predictor: T. Baron Russell in his 1905 book A Hundred Years Hence

Prediction: In the next century all that will be necessary in order to multiply type-matter and illustrations in any number of colours will be to place the original on a pile of paper and expose it to the rays of some source of energy, when the whole matter will be impressed upon every sheet, and this not by any mere contact of type and process-blocks with paper (which involves serious difficulties, owing to the interference of the paper-surface with the grain of the etched " screen ") but by direct action of light, or of some influence taking the place of light, so that perfectly clear pictures will be produced. And news of all sorts will be the subject of this kind of illustration.

Reality: The printing process has gone through a lot of improvement since 1905, but putting an image on paper still requires ink in the vast majority of cases.


Never to be forgotten: Bob Hoskins 1942-2014

The British actor Bob Hoskins has died at the age of 71. I remember seeing him first in The Long Good Friday, a gangster film. I can't recall now if it was Siskel or Ebert who said he looked like a suit filled with bowling balls. He was short and stocky and in a lot of his roles, he was a guy you did not want to mess with. Among his roles in genre productions are Snow White and the Huntsman, Neverland, Doomsday, Wind in the Willows, Son of the Mask, The Lost World, Super Mario Bros., Hook, Brazil and of course Who Framed Roger Rabbit. Even when he played a complete heel, I found myself always wanting to like him.

Best wishes to the family and friends of Bob Hoskins, from a fan. He is never to be forgotten.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Another visit from Lee de Forest view of 2000 from his 1960 vantage point.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

29 April 2014

Birthdays
Taylor Cole b. 1984 (Supernatural, The Event, The Green Hornet, Surrogates, Heroes)
Firass Dirani b. 1984 (Power Ranger Mystic Force, Pitch Black)
Alex Vincent b. 1981 (Child’s Play)
Tyler Labine b. 1978 (Deadbeat, Rise of the Planet of the Apes [2011], Tucker & Dale vs. Evil, Invasion, Jake 2.0, Evil Alien Conquerors, Dark Angel, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], Poltergeist: The Legacy, Millennium [TV], The X-Files, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
David Sullivan b. 1977 (Karma Police, The Astronaut Farmer, Primer)
David Belle b. 1973 (Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Babylon A.D.)
Derek Mears b. 1972 (Sleepy Hollow, Grimm, Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters, Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Team Unicorn, Predators, The Hills Have Eyes II, Zathura: A Space Adventure, Cursed, Star Trek: Enterprise, Men in Black II, The Tick, The Wonder Cabinet)
Darby Stanchfield b. 1971 (Jericho, Angel)
Uma Thurman b. 1970 (Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, Paycheck, Gattaca, Batman & Robin, The Adventures of Baron Munchausen)
Vincent Ventresca b. 1966 (Dollhouse, Mammoth, The Invisible Man [TV])
Bruce Harwoord b. 1963 (The X-Files, Supernatural, The Last Mimsy, Stephen King’s Dead Zone, Alienated, Smallville, Stargate SG-1, Andromeda, The Lone Gunmen, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids [TV], The Fly II, Earth Star Voyager)
Robert J. Sawyer b. 1960 (author, won 1996 Nebula for The Terminal Experiment and won 2003 Hugo for Homonids)
Michelle Pfeiffer b. 1958 (Dark Shadows [2012], Stardust, Wolf, Batman Returns, The Witches of Eastwick, Ladyhawke)
Kate Mulgrew b. 1955 (Warehouse 13, Star Trek: Nemesis, Star Trek: Voyager, Gargoyles)
Gavin O’Herlihy b. 1954 (Star Trek: Voyager, Willow, Superman III, The Amazing Spider-Man [TV], The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man)
Reb Brown b. 1948 (Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Space Mutiny, Robowar, Howling II, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Yor, the Hunter from the Future, Brave New World [TV], Captain America [TV], Strange New World [TV], The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Ssssss)
Wayne Robson b. 1946 died 4 April 2011 (Survival of the Dead, The Timekeeper, The Incredible Hulk [2008], Lexx, Cube, RoboCop [TV], The Twilight Zone [1989])
Lane Smith b. 1936 died 13 June 2005 (From the Earth to the Moon, Lois & Clark, Duplicates, V)
Akira Takarada b. 1934 (Godzilla vs. Mothra, Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster, King Kong Escapes, Godzilla [2014 and 1977 and 1954], Invasion of Astro-Monster)
Irvin Kershner b. 1923 died 27 November 2010 (director, SeaQuest 2032, RoboCop 2, The Empire Strikes Back)
Richard Carlson b. 1912 died 24 November 1977 (The Valley of Gwangi, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Strange Case of the Cosmic Rays, Creature from the Black Lagoon, It Came from Outer Space, The Magnetic Monster)
Jack Williamson b. 1908 died 10 November 2006 (author, The Legion of Time, Starchild, The Man from Outside, Land’s End)

Okay, first things first. Whose job was it to tell me Lane Smith died? I loved his work and I had no idea.

Last year's Picture Slot was Kate Mulgrew, an excellent and iconic choice without a doubt, but this year I was torn between Michelle Pfieffer and Uma Thurman when I read online that Akira Takarada's part in the newest Godzilla ended up on the cutting room floor. That seemed so unfair I decided to give him the Picture Slot with a still from the 1954 version.

I also want to give a shout out to Reb Brown, the actor who played Captain America in Marvel's 1970 attempt to get their stuff turned into TV shows. Hulk worked well and Spider-Man did okay, but Cap didn't quite make the cut. You have to be nearly as old as I am to remember that once upon a time, DC had all the successes in turning comic books into live action movies and TV while Marvel had a whole lotta flops.

Many happy returns to all the living on our list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

 

Predictor: Geoffrey Hoyle in the 1972 book 2010: Living in the Future, illustrations by Alasdair Anderson

Prediction: No tubs. Just showers. No faucets for hot and cold, no need for soap or towels. Set the dial for water temperature and step in. Foamy water covers you, clean water rinses you, a jet of warm air dries you.

Reality: As I wrote last week, Hoyle's vision is fairly nice in many ways, but there is an obsession with space because of overcrowding. Also, I'm not that keen on stepping into a mini car wash every morning. Think about how long it takes air dryers to work on my hands, I'd be way too antsy to air dry my whole body.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our Edwardian pal T. Baron Russell is winding down and May will be his last month with us. We'll see what more he has to say tomorrow.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
   

Monday, April 28, 2014

28 March 2014

Birthdays
Jessica Alba, b. 1981 (Sin City, Spy Kids, Fantastic Four, Dark Angel, Venus Rising)
Penélope Cruz b. 1974 (Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Vanilla Sky)
Elisabeth Röhm b. 1973 (Mega Shark vs. Mecha Shark, Lake Placid: The Final Chapter, Heroes, Angel, The Invisible Man [TV movie])
Jorge Garcia b. 1973 (Lost, Once Upon a Time, Fringe)
Bridget Moynahan b. 1971 (Battle Los Angeles, I, Robot)
Kari Wuhrer b. 1967 (Sharknado 2: The Second One, Stargate: Atlantis, Berserker: Hell’s Warrior, King of the Ants, Eight Legged Freaks, Sliders, Anaconda, Thinner, Swamp Thing, Beastmaster 2: Through the Portal of Time)
Mary McDonnell b. 1952 (Battlestar Galactica, Donnie Darko, Independence Day)
Bob Rumnock b. 1953 (Divergent, World’s End, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Angel)
Stuart Gillard b. 1950 (director, Beauty and the Beast [TV], Charmed, Poltergeist: The Legacy, RocketMan, Creature, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III)
Marcia Strassman b. 1948 (Tremors [TV], Earth Minus Zero, Highlander, Honey I Shrunk the Kids, And You Thought Your Parents Were Weird, Brave New World, Time Express)
Terry Pratchett b. 1948 (author, Discworld, Hogfather)
Mike Newell b. 1942 (director, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire)
Carolyn Jones b. 1930 died 3 August 1983 (Wonder Woman, Batman, The Addams Family, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, The War of the Worlds, House of Wax)
Robert Cornthwaite b. 1917 died 20 July 2006 (The Naked Monster, White Dwarf, Time Trackers, Beauty and the Beast, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Futureworld, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Six Million Dollar Man, Colossus: The Forbin Project, Land of the Giants, Batman, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Munsters, Twilight Zone, Destination Space, The War of the Worlds, The Thing from Another World)

The birthday list today has plenty of options for Pretty Girl = Picture Slot. Last year I went with Jessica Alba and no one could blame me. My first thought was to get yet another fabulous babe this year - probably going old school with Carolyn Jones - but instead, rummaging through imdb.com I found the late Oh That Guy actor Robert Cornthwaite, seen here in an early role as the doctor who tries to reason with The Thing from Another World and fails spectacularly. He had the hat on in most scenes, so you can't see he's bald and he usually did not have a beard. Here's a link to images of him on Google. Definitely an Oh That Guy.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

 

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published in 1982

Prediction (reality in parentheses): Marital status statistics in 1995

Men
Never married: 27% (27%)
Married: 59% (54%)
Separated/Divorced/Widowed: 15% (18%)

Women
Never married: 21% (24%)
Married: 54% (52%)
Separated/Divorced/Widowed: 25% (24%)

Analysis: These numbers are awfully damn close. One trend that may have been hard to catch is that the gap in life expectancies between men and women narrowed, which reduces the number of widows. Another surprise for me was that the number of never married men was higher in 1979 than it was in 1995, 31% to 27%. The women's rate stayed level. In the last eighteen years, the percentage of never married over the age of 14 has increased to 34% for men and 28% for women. This reflects two trends, people getting married later and an increase in people who never marry.

In any case, while a chi square test for goodness of fit would probably say this isn't a close estimate, I agree with Edwards Deming that a lot of hypothesis testing is flawed both by sample sizes too large and too small. I'm going to give OMNI Future Almanac credit for a good prediction this week.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

More fun with our new Tuesday regular Geoffrey Hoyle.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, April 27, 2014

27 April 2014

 Birthdays
Emily Rios b. 1989 (Grimm, Almost Human)
William Moseley b. 1987 (The Chronicles of Narnia)
Jenna Coleman b. 1986 (Doctor Who, Captain America: The First Avenger)
Ari Graynor b. 1983 (Fringe)
Sally Hawkins b. 1976 (Godzilla [2014])
Elle Downs b. 1973 (Hemlock Grove, Cybergeddon, Earth: Final Conflict, 2103: The Deadly Wake)
David Lascher b. 1972 (Sabrina, The Teenage Witch)
Matt Reeves b. 1966 (writer, Let Me In, Future Shock)
Anna Chancellor b. 1965 (The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, FairyTale: A True Story, Jupiter Moon)
Lisa Wilcox b. 1964 (Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventures [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation, A Nightmare on Elm Street 4 and 5, Something is Out There)
Russell T. Davies b. 1963 (showrunner, Wizards vs. Aliens, Doctor Who, Torchwood, The Sarah Jane Adventures)
James Le Gros b. 1962 (Phantasm II, *batteries not included, Solarbabies, Near Dark)
Kevin McNally b. 1956 (Supernatural, Pirates of the Caribbean, Demons, Doctor Who)
John Shrapnel b. 1942 (Merlin, Alien Autopsy, The Tenth Kingdom, Invasion: Earth, Space: 1999)
Robert Donner b. 1931 (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, Starman [TV], Mork & Mindy, The Incredible Hulk, Damnation Alley, Six Million Dollar Man)
Jack Klugman b. 1922 died 24 December 2012 (I Dream of Jeannie, Twilight Zone)

If I were going to pick my favorite actor from the list, it would be Jack Klugman from one of his four(!) appearances on Twilight Zone, which ties him with Burgess Meredith for roles on that important show in the history of sci-fi on TV. But we also have two actors and the main writer from Doctor Who celebrating birthdays today, and the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule is invoked with Jenna Coleman, the current companion on the show.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.



Predictor: Greg Bear in Eon, published 1985

Prediction: In 1993 a limited nuclear war called the "Little Death" involving strategic defense space weaponry leads to an all our-war with four million casualties. "The Death" proper ensues, killing two and a half billion of Earth's inhabitants and bringing in its wake the Long Winter.

Reality: As usual, I point out that we did not have a nuclear war in 1993 or any of the other dates yet predicted, but this particular story is the first to bring up the concept of nuclear winter. A lot of nukes spread out around the world could do this much in the same way as volcanic eruptions have done it in the past, but it should be noted that the dust in the air produced by a single nuclear explosion is dwarfed by a big volcano like Mt. Saint Helens or Pinatubo.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The OMNI Future Almanac is consulted once again, the best investment for predictions I have made so far.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

26 April 2014

Birthdays
Channing Tatum b. 1980 (Jupiter Ascending, This is the End, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, War of the Worlds)
Jordana Brewster b. 1980 (The Faculty)
Marnette Patterson b. 1980 (Starship Troopers 3: Marauder, Charmed, Supernatural, 3rd Rock from the Sun, A Nightmare on Elm Street 5)
Stana Katic b. 1978 (Heroes, The Librarian: The Curse of the Jade Chalice)
Tom Welling b. 1977 (Smallville, The Fog)
McKenzie Westmore b. 1977 (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Insurrection, Weird Science [TV], Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Debra Wilson b. 1962 (Avatar,The Sarah Connor Chronicles, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine)
Joan Chen b. 1961 (Fringe, Cyber Wars, The Outer Limits [1998], Judge Dredd)
Giancarlo Esposito b. 1958 (Revolution, Once Upon a Time, NYPD 2069, Monkeybone, Stardust [1998], Creature, The Hunger, The Brother from Another Planet)
Ron Donachie b. 1956 (Atlantis, Game of Thrones, The Deep [TV], Doctor Who, Starhunter [TV])
Andy Secombe b. 1953 (Star Wars: Episodes I and II, Star Cops)
Erwin Stoff b. 1951 (producer, The Day the Earth Stood Still [2008], A Scanner Darkly, Constantine, The Matrix, Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey)
Warren Clarke b. 1947 (Firefox, Hawk the Slayer, A Clockwork Orange)
Stafford Repp b. 1918 died 5 November 1974 (Batman [TV], I Dream of Jeannie, My Favorite Martian, Twilight Zone)
H.L. Gold b. 1914 died 21 February 1996 (editor, Galaxy Science Fiction 1950-1961)
A.E. van Vogt b. 1912 died 26 January 2000 (author, The World of Null-A, The Book of Ptath, The Voyage of the Space Beagle)

While Game of Thrones is actually airing, actors from that show are trump in the Game of Picture Slot, so we get Ron Donachie as Ser Rodrik Cassel, which also satisfies the awesome facial hair standard we are used to getting from our 1893 predictions. As for Pretty Girl = Picture Slot, all of the women on the list easily qualify, including McKenzie Westmore, whose first name doesn't make her gender clear. As for iconic status, Tom Welling on Smallville certainly counts, as does Stafford Repp as Chief O'Hara on the old Batman show, a character whose main job was to make it look like Commissioner Gordon wasn't talking to himself. As for Channing Tatum, I would say he's the only bona fide movie star on the list, but he's better known for his work in non-genre films so far. The other possible Picture Slot candidate is A. E. van Vogt, a very prolific writer from the Heinlein/Bradbury era.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 

Predictor: John McGovern, chief editorial writer for The Chicago Herald, asked to look into the future in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exposition, held in Chicago

Prediction: Should there be no war, pestilence or earthquake, Chicago in 1993 might have 10,000,000 in population and extend from Indiana to Wisconsin. But if conditions are not as prefect, I should think that Chicago would support 3,000,000 souls at least within 100 years.

Reality: I could find no picture of John McGovern online, so we don't get the bold facial hair. We also don't get that bold a prediction. I don't know if any Wisconsin towns count as Chicago suburbs, but Gary, Indiana could. McGovern put 10,000,000 out as his wacky pie-in-the-sky number, but the reality is the population of the city by itself in 1990 was 9,000,000, and the population including its surrounding communities is well above 10,000,000. No points for McGovern here.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Yet another story of a nuclear war we didn't have.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, April 25, 2014

25 April 2014

 Birthdays
Heather Sossaman b. 1987 (10.0 The Big One, Buffy)
Daniel Sharman b. 1986 (Teen Wolf, Immortals)
Marguerite Moreau b. 1977 (Smallville, Firestarter 2: Rekindled, Queen of the Damned, Mighty Joe Young, 3rd Rock from the Sun)
Emily Bergl b. 1975 (Warehouse 13, Star Trek: Enterprise, Taken, The Rage: Carrie 2)
Gina Torres b. 1969 (The Vampire Diaries, FlashForward, Serenity, Firefly, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, Angel, Cleopatra 2525, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Xena, M.A.N.T.I.S.)
Hank Azaria b. 1964 (Night at the Museum: Battle of the Smithsonian, Mystery Men, Godzilla [1998])
Daniel Kash b. 1959 (Orphan Black, RoboCop [2014], Alphas, Lost Girl, Repo Men, The Dresden Files, Jack Brooks: Monster Slayer, Diary of the Dead, Mutant X, Veritas: The Quest, Total Recall 2070, Virus, RoboCop [TV], Forever Knight, Nightbreed, War of the Worlds [TV], Aliens)
Ron Clements b. 1953 (director, The Princess and the Frog, Treasure Planet, Hercules, Aladdin, The Little Mermaid)
Peter Jurasik b. 1950 (Quantum Apocalypse, Sliders, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Babylon 5, TRON[1982])
Jeffrey DeMunn b. 1947 (The Walking Dead, The X-Files, Phenomenon, The Blob [1988], Twilight Zone [1984])
Al Pacino b. 1940 (S1m0ne, The Devil’s Advocate)
Kay E. Kuter b. 1925 died 12 November 2003 (Charmed, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch, The X-Files, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Beauty and the Beast, V, The Twilight Zone [1986], The Last Starfighter, Far Out Space Nuts, I Dream of Jeannie, The Outer Limits, The Mole People)

Last year I put up a picture of Gina Torres and I was sorely tempted to do so again, but there were some tough choices. Jeffrey DeMunn has gone from Oh That Guy to somewhat iconic with his role on The Walking Dead and the late Kay E. Kuter was a great Oh That Guy. But instead, showing love for the forgotten and somewhat derided classic from the 1990s Babylon 5, I have a picture of Peter Jurasik as Londo Mollari.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to Kay E. Kuter, thanks for all the memories.





Predictor: Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich in the 1968 book The Population Bomb

Prediction: Scenario #2:
1979: Mexico, last non-Communist Latin American government, is replaced by a Chinese-supported junta.
Stalemate with Chinese in Southeast Asia.
Bubonic plague in Egypt averts U.S.-Soviet confrontation in the Mediterranean.
Food shortages in U.S.
L.A. killer smog wipes out 90K in two years.
Sino-Soviet nuclear war destroys life in Northern Hemisphere.

Reality: I will stipulate (and my commenters agree) that Lee de Forest, "the father of radio", stunk the place out yesterday with his atomic rockets prediction. But here's his lucky position at the table.

For at least another couple weeks, his predictions, no matter how bad (and not all of them are) are followed by Dr. Paul R. Ehrlich, who STUNK ON ICE over and over and over again.

De Forest is dead and Ehrlich is alive and still accepting honorary awards. If he ever stumbles upon this blog, I have one piece of advice.

Apologize for your public sins before you die. Better to be Robert MacNamara than Donald Rumsfeld.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Regular readers will know it's time for a trip back to 1893. Sadly, this one will be without bold facial hair or even a bold prediction.

(I think this breaks several rules of coming attractions. My bad.)

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

24 April 2014

 Birthdays
Jack Quaid b. 1992 (The Hunger Games)
Austin Nichols b. 1980 (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., Surface, The Day After Tomorrow, Sliders)
Rebecca Mader b. 1977 (Once Upon a Time, Warehouse 13, Iron Man 3, Fringe, Alphas, No Ordinary Family, Lost)
Eric Balfour b. 1977 (Haven, No Ordinary Family, Skyline, Dinoshark, Rise of the Gargoyles, The Chronicle, Buffy)
Noah Danby b. 1974 (Bitten, Beauty and the Beast, Riddick, Lost Girl, Warehouse 13, Eureka, Painkiller Jane, Stargate SG-1, Alien Incursion, Smallville, The 4400, Andromeda, Mutant X, Witchblade, Lexx)
Eric Kripke b. 1974 (writer, Supernatural, Revolution, Boogeyman)
Damon Lindelof b. 1973 (writer, World War Z, Star Trek Into Darkness, Lost)
Melinda Clarke b. 1969 (The Vampire Diaries, Reaper, Firefly, Tremors [TV], Charmed, Star Trek: Enterprise, Spawn, Sliders, Xena, Return of the Living Dead III)
Rory McCann b. 1969 (Game of Thrones, Season of the Witch, Clash of the Titians, Solomon Kane)
Aiden Gillen b. 1968 (Game of Thrones, The Dark Knight Rises)
Stacy Haiduk b. 1968 (True Blood, Heroes, The Attack of the Sabertooth, The X-Files, Charmed, Kindred: The Embraced, SeaQuest 2032, Superboy)
Djimon Hounsou b. 1964 (Guardians of the Galaxy, Push, Eragon, The Island, Constantine, Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life, Stargate)
Glenn Morshower b. 1959 (Revolution, After Earth, Transformers, X-Men: First Class, Dollhouse, Charmed, The Island, Category 6: Day of Destruction, Star Trek: Enterprise, Buffy, Strange World, The Crow: Stairway to Heaven, Godzilla [1998], Millennium, The X-Files, Dark Skies, Star Trek: Voyager, Babylon 5, Star Trek: Generations, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap)
Steven Lisberger b. 1951 (writer, TRON)
Michael Parks b. 1940 (Grindhouse, From Dusk Till Dawn, Sorceress)
Jill Ireland b. 1936 died 18 May 1990 (Star Trek, My Favorite Martian, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Richard Donner b. 1930 (director, Timeline, Superman, The Omen, Ladyhawke, Twilight Zone)
William Castle b. 1914 died 31 May 1977 (director, Zotz!, 13 Ghosts, The Tingler, House on Haunted Hill)

Nice long birthday list today. Two Game of Thrones regulars, which right now is trump when it comes to The Picture Slot. Aiden Gillen got the honors last year so this year it's Rory McCann as The Hound. Special note is given to Glenn Morshower, a bald and husky Oh That Guy who plays a lot of cops and military officers. In the latest Transformers movie - which I haven't seen - his character is named Gen. Morshower, which I'm guessing is a little joke by the writer who realized he had seen this actor plenty of times before. As for the older folks on the list, it's been a long time since I thought about Jill Ireland, Charles Bronson's lovely wife who died so young 24 years ago. That was definitely my first "Jeez, I'm old!" moment of the morning.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.



In the year 2000!

Predictor: Lee de Forest, "The Father of Radio", predicting the world of 2000 in the 17 January 1960 edition of the Sunday supplement American Weekly.

Prediction:  Atomic-powered missiles will carry freight and mail between cities-and continents-within minutes. Jets and missiles will be commonplace for passenger flights.

Reality: Umm... no. I've read several mid-century sci-fi stories recently and earthbound rocket travel was a really popular idea. In the movies, rockets landed on alien worlds just as easy as you please, but in the real world that has to pay attention to pesky stuff like physics, landing a tall tube in an upright position is really hard.

And then there's atomic-powered missiles! If he hadn't mentioned jets, this would have been a big goose egg for de Forest.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Even when Lee de Forest screws up, Dr. Paul Ehrlich shows up on Fridays to make him look like a genius in comparison.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

23 April 2014

Birthdays
Alex Ferris b. 1997 (Eureka, Battlestar Galactica: The Plan, The Time Traveler’s Wife, Smallville, X-Men: The Last Stand, Supernatural, Stargate SG-1)
Jesse Lee Sofer b. 1984 (In Time)
Jamie King b. 1979 (Sin City, The Spirit)
Kal Penn b. 1977 (Superman Returns, Son of the Mask, Angel, Sabina, The Teenage Witch, Buffy)
John Hannah b. 1962 (Atlantis [2013], The Mummy, Carnivale, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde [2003], The Mummy and spin-offs)
Jan Hooks b. 1957 (3rd Rock from the Sun, Coneheads, Batman Returns)
Blair Brown b. 1946 (Fringe, Falling Skies, Dark Shadows [TV movie 2005], Smallville, The Astronaut’s Wife, Space, Altered States, Dracula[TV movie 1973])
Lee Majors b. 1939 (Lightspeed, Jake 2.0, The Six Million Dollar Man & spin-offs, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land)
Alan Oppenheimer b. 1930 (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Invisible: The Chronicles of Benjamin Knight, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Quantum Leap, Knight Rider, The Six Million Dollar Man, Westworld, Bewitched, Gammera the Invincible, I Dream of Jeannie)

A very short birthday list today, only nine people. On the plus side, all of them are alive. Yay! Another plus is a two-for-one in the Picture Slot, with Lee Majors, the guy with the most iconic role on the list, and a great "Oh That Guy!" Alan Oppenheimer, who was the second actor to play Dr. Rudy Wells on The Six Million Dollar Man.

Many happy returns to everyone on the list.
 

Predictor: T. Baron Russell in A Hundred Years Hence, published 1905

Prediction: Naturally the bedrooms of the new age will have many amenities lacking to our own. It is not too much to anticipate that we shall have learned enough of plumbing to be able to connect baths, wash-basins and other necessary fittings with the drains without poisoning ourselves, and the inconvenient modern " washstand " with its unreticent adjuncts will decently disappear.

Reality: Yay, indoor plumbing! We fitted the sumbitches with drains and didn't poison ourselves... much. Full points for our pal T. Baron today.

I would also like to point out that the somewhat archaic word unreticent means noisy. I am an unreticent adjunct myself, but I have no intention of disappearing, decently or otherwise.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Dr. Lee de Forest is back, but he's not as good at predicting transportation as he was at communication.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

22 April 2014

Birthdays
Amber Heard b. 1986 (Zombieland)
Michelle Ryan b. 1984 (Metal Hurlant Chronicles, Cockneys vs Zombies, Doctor Who, Merlin, Bionic Woman, Jekyll, The Worst Witch)
Francis Capra b. 1983 (The Strain, Touch, Clear Skies 3, Heroes)
Gemma Whelan b. 1981 (Game of Thrones, The Day They Came to Suck Out Our Brains!, Gulliver’s Travels, The Wolfman)
Eric Mabius b. 1971 (Outcasts, Resident Evil, The Crow: Salvation, Millennium)
Sheryl Lee b. 1967 (Vampires)
Jeffrey Dean Morgan b. 1966 (Watchmen, Jonah Hex, Supernatural, Star Trek: Enterprise, Angel, The Burning Zone, Sliders)
Brooke McCarter b. 1963 (The Lost Boys, The Twilight Zone [1987])
Catherine Mary Stewart b. 1959 (The Witches of Eastwick [TV], Night of the Comet, The Last Starfighter, Mr. Merlin)
Ken Olandt b. 1958 (Total Reality, Digital Man, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Leprechaun, Super Force, V)
Joseph Bottoms b. 1954 (Wishman, The Black Hole)
Steve Englehart b. 1947 (author, Marvel, DC, Max August)
Jason Miller b. 1939 died 13 May 2001 (The Henderson Monster, Vampire (1979), The Exorcist)
Richard Marquand b. 1938 died 4 September1987 (director, Return of the Jedi)
Jack Nicholson b. 1937 (Mars Attacks!, Wolf, Batman, The Witches of Eastwick, The Shining, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Terror, The Raven, Little Shop of Horrors)
Eddie Albert b. 1906 died 26 May 2005 (Time Trax, The Girl from Mars, The Twilight Zone [1986], Dreamscape, Beyond Witch Mountain, The Devil’s Rain, Escape to Witch Mountain, The Borrowers, The Outer Limits [1964], Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea)
Byron Haskin b. 1899 died 16 April 1984 (director, The Outer Limits[1964], Robinson Crusoe on Mars, From the Earth to the Moon, Conquest of Space, The War of the Worlds [1953])

Okay, I'll say it. There is one person here much more famous than the rest of the list: Jack Nicholson. More than that, while he has had a long career, he has done genre roles all throughout it, from his early days working for Roger Corman to playing The Joker in the first big budget Batman. I would also like to point out that regardless of the ways he has abused his body, he is still alive while Jason Miller and Richard Marquard, born just two years and one year after him, are already dead. Jack has some crazy wicked luck working for him.

And yet, the Picture Slot goes to Michelle Ryan from the reboot of Bionic Woman because... pretty.

Also iconic.

Many happy returns to all the living on our list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Geoffrey Hoyle in the 1972 book 2010: Living in the Future, illustrations by Alasdair Anderson

Prediction: The alarm clock wakes you up to music. No chairs, no tables, no beds. The bedroom is an office, the kitchen is a living room. With so many people in the world, there can be no wasted space.

Reality: Say hello to our new Tuesday regular, Geoffrey Hoyle, son of the physicist Sir Fred Hoyle, not to be confused with the British actor Geoff Hoyle who was in The Lion King on Broadway. Hoyle co-wrote a lot of the science fiction his dad worked on and in 1972 made this children's book. If you want to see the whole thing at a single go - just 31 pages with nice big illustrations and text re-written at the bottom for readability - you can click on this link to a website created by Daniel Sinker. Thanks, Daniel!

The book is this amalgam of capitalist progress, socialistic living situations and a feeling of a pleasant post-apocalyptic hellhole. If somebody is serious about taking away my chairs and tables, I would consider it time to exercise my Second Amendment options, if you know what I mean. As for my bed, I sleep in a La-Z-Boy lounger, which has been great for my back. Still, space is nowhere near at the premium Hoyle considers early on.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We travel backward in time to 1905 to another British version of the brave new world that awaits us.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, April 21, 2014

21 April 2014

Birthdays
Frank Dillane b. 1991 (Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince)
Robbie Amell b. 1988 (The Tomorrow People, Scooby-Doo! The Mystery Begins [TV])
James McAvoy b. 1979 (X-Men: Days of Future Past, X-Men: First Class, Wanted, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Children of Dune)
Dominic Zamprogna b. 1979 (2012, Smallville, Flash Gordon, Bionic Woman, Battlestar Galactica, Blade: The Series, Supernatural, Stargate: Atlantis, Odyssey 5, MythQuest, Tales from the Cryptkeeper)
Brian White b. 1975 (Beauty and the Beast [2013], Cabin in the Woods, Moonlight)
Charlie O’Connell b. 1975 (Zombie Family, DateaHuman.com, Kraken: Tentacles of the Deep, Dude, Where’s My Car, Sliders, The Magician)
Jennifer Blanc b. 1974 (Malignant, Zombie Family, My Apocalypse, Dark Angel)
Sandy Jobin-Bevans b. 1972 (Run Robot Run, ReGenesis, Dawn of the Dead, PSI Factor: Tales of the Paranormal)
Joel de la Fuente b. 1969 (Hemlock Grove, The Adjustment Bureau, From Other Worlds, Space: Above and Beyond)
Kate Vernon b. 1961 (Heroes, Battlestar Galactica, Star Trek: Voyager, Kindred: The Embraced)
Andie MacDowell b. 1958 (Muppets from Space, Multiplicity, Groundhog Day)
James Morrison b. 1954 (The X-Files, Seven Days, Prey, Millennium, Space: Above and Beyond, White Dwarf, Quantum Leap, Monsters, Werewolf, Automan)
George DiCenzo b. 1940 died 9 August 2010 (M.A.N.T.I.S., The Exorcist III, Back to the Future, Starflight: The Plane That Couldn’t Land, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Space Academy, Dark Shadows [1970])
Reni Santoni b. 1939 (Quantum Leap, Manimal)
Charles Grodin b. 1935 (The Incredible Shrinking Woman, King Kong [1976], Rosemary’s Baby)
Silvana Mangano b. 1930 died 16 December 1989 (Dune, The Flying Saucer)
Gilbert Taylor b. 1914 died 23 August 2013 (cinematographer, Flash Gordon, Dracula, Star Wars, The Omen)

If I wanted to go with an Oh That Guy actor, I have several choices, but if we restrict to movie stars with iconic genre roles, James McAvoy is the logical choice. Frank Dillane played the young Tom Riddle in Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince and the next most iconic actor in genre would likely be Kate Vernon from Battlestar Galactica, who had the Picture Slot last year. I was also considering a shot from a Gilbert Taylor film, but I used one in his obituary piece last August

Many happy returns to all the living on our list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

 

Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac, published 1982

In the year 2000!

Prediction: (reality in parentheses, according to Wikipedia) The ten most populous countries in 2000

1. China 1,189,600 (1,242,6000)
2. India 1,036,700 (1,040,000,000)
3. USSR 311,800,000 (Russia ranks 6th at 147,000,000)
4. United States 260,400,000 (3rd at 281,400,000)
5. Indonesia 221,600,000 (4th at 206,300,000)
6. Brazil 212,500,000 (5th at 170,000,000)
7. Bangladesh 153,300,000 (8th at 130,000,000)
8. Nigeria 148,900,000 (10th at 110,000,000)
9. Pakistan 145,000,000 (7th at 140,000,000)
10. Mexico 132,300,000 (11th at 97,000,000)

Comment: All in all, not such a bad list. They missed Japan in 9th place, but they were put in 11th instead, not so far off. They also couldn't predict the fall of the Soviet Union, so we will give them a pass on that one. They undershot the U.S. population by 21 million (8% under) and overshoot a lot of the developing world, most notably Brazil (25% over), Nigeria (35% over) and Mexico (36% over).

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The blog has put Ray Kurzweil to bed, so we'll meet our new Tuesday regular tomorrow. Exciting!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, April 20, 2014

20 April 2014

Birthdays
Matt Sadowski-Austin b. 1978 (Dawn of the Dead, Power Rangers)
Viv Leacock b. 1974 (Almost Human, Continuum, Eureka, Smallville, Fringe, Hot Tub Time Machine, 2012, Supernatural)
William deVry b. 1968 (Hemlock Grove, Beauty and the Beast [2013], Stargate SG-1, Earth: Final Conflict, The Lost World [TV], Poltergeist: The Legacy, SeaQuest 2032)
Andy Serkis b. 1964 (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, Godzilla [2014], The Hobbit, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Inkheart, Lord of the Rings, The Prestige, King Kong [2005])
Crispin Glover b. 1964 (Hot Tub Time Machine, Alice in Wonderland, Freezer Burn: The Invasion of Laxdale, Beowulf, The Wizard of Gore, Back to the Future)
Paris Vaughan b. 1961 (Buffy the Vampire Slayer [movie])
Mike Pniewski b, 1961 (Resurrection, Coma, From the Earth to the Moon, Superboy, Beauty and the Beast [1989], Spaceballs, The Twilight Zone [1986])
Clint Howard b. 1959 (Life with Zombies, Blood Reign: The Third Reich, Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian, Halloween, Star Trek: Enterprise, Total Recall 2070, From the Earth to the Moon, Apollo 13, Deep Space Nine, Leprechaun 2, Space Rangers, Carnosaur, The Rocketeer, Cocoon, Splash, Star Trek)
Geraint Wyn Davies b. 1957 (ReGenesis, Cube2: Hypercube, RoboCop: Prime Directives, Forever, Knight, Highlander, Dracula: The Series, Bionic Showdown)
Jessica Lange b. 1949 (American Horror Story, Neverwas, King Kong [1976])
Veronica Cartwright b. 1949 (Resurrection, Eastwick, The Invasion, Invasion [TV], The X-Files, Sliders, Candyman: Farewell to the Flesh, The Witches of Eastwick, Alien, Invasion of the Body Snatchers [1978], Twilight Zone)
Michael Brandon b. 1945 (Captain America: The First Avenger, Doctor Who, Dinotopia)
Judith O’Dea b. 1945 (Night of the Living Dead)
Ian Watson b. 1943 (writer and editor)
George Takei b. 1937 (Star Trek, Lost Girl, The Big Bang Theory, Heroes, The Chronicle, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Oblivion 1 and 2, Beyond Westworld, The Six Million Dollar Man, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone, Rodan, Godzilla Raids Again)
Gary Raymond b. 1935 (UFO, Jason and the Argonauts, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man)
Robert DoQui b. 1934 died 9 February 2008 (Deep Space Nine, RoboCop 1, 2, and 3, Starman [TV], My Science Project, The Six Million Dollar Man, Kolchack: The Night Stalker, I Dream of Jeannie, The Outer Limits)
Nina Foch b. 1924 died 5 December 2008 (Alien Nation: Dark Horizon, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, The Outer Limits)
Leslie Phillips b. 1924 (Harry Potter, H.G. Wells’ Invisible Man [TV], The Gamma People)
Terry Maloney b. 1917 died 16 March 2008 (artist, New Worlds)
Bruce Cabot b. 1904 died 3 May 1972 (King Kong [1933])

Nice long list today. Here are some of my thoughts while compiling.

Jeez, I'm old moments: The lovely Jessica Lange is 65 and the goofball Crispin Glover is 50.

The list is kind of old, too: So much sci-fi is being done these days, there's usually several actors under 30 celebrating birthdays, but today the youngest person is turning 36.

Who should get the Picture Slot: Last year it was George Takei and I could have given him a repeat. I was thinking about Clint Howard, but sometimes I worry about over-using original Star Trek actors. I thought about Bruce Cabot from the original King Kong and Judith O'Dea from Night of the Living Dead, but as you can see, it's Jessica Lange for the 1970s King Kong.

Whole lotta big monkeys!  Bruce Cabot was the hero/adventurer from the original King Kong, Jessica Lange was the damsel in distress in the big budget 1970s remake and Andy Serkis did some motion capture and voice work as Kong in Peter Jackson's version.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: The AT&T ad campaign from 1993 known as "You Will".

Disclaimer: I did this list last year, and you can find the full list and the video through this link. The amount of stuff they got right is pretty remarkable and I want to make a correction to my "reality" statements. Last year, I said "made a phone call from your wrist" was Close But No Cigar, and this year I would move it up to the Right On The Money category.

We live with technology constantly making small changes, so sometimes it's hard to see how much has happened in the last twenty years. No jetpacks or flying cars, but technology has made some amazing changes nevertheless.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

OMNI Future Almanac, always something to look forward to on Mondays.

Join me then... IN THE FUTURE!
  

Saturday, April 19, 2014

19 April 2014

 Birthdays
Jai Courtney b. 1986 (Divergent, I, Frankenstein)
Hayden Christensen b. 1981 (Star Wars, Jumper, Harrison Bergeron)
James Franco b. 1978 (This is the End, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, The Green Hornet, Spider-Man, The X-Files)
Alexis Thorpe b. 1980 (Nightmare City 2035, The Man from Earth)
Ashley Judd b. 1968 (Divergent, Tooth Fairy, Bug, Star Trek: The Next Generation)
Patricia Charbonneau b. 1959 (Strange World, SeaQuest 2032, RoboCop 2, Brain Dead)
Moira Sinise b. 1954 (Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines)
Dennis Dun b. 1952 (Charmed, Prince of Darkness, Big Trouble in Little China, Beauty and the Beast)
Tim Curry b. 1946 (Alice [2009], The Secret of Moonacre, Wolf Girl, Addams Family Reunion, Doom Runners, Lexx, Congo, Earth 2, The Shadow, It, The Worst Witch, Legend, The Rocky Horror Picture Show)
Rhodes Reason b. 1930 (Star Trek, King Kong Escapes, The Time Tunnel)
Dick Sargent b. 1930 died 8 July 1994 (Harry and the Hendersons, Teen Witch, The Six Million Dollar Man, Bewitched, I Dream of Jeannie, The Beast with a Million Eyes)
Hugh O’Brian b. 1925 (Doin’ Time on Planet Earth, Rocketship X-M)

Last year I went with Hayden Christensen in the Picture Slot because he has the most iconic role in the biggest budget film. This year I went with Tim Curry because I love Tim Curry, as do all sentient beings. There are certainly other excellent choices, but you can be pretty sure I'm not going to use James Franco any time in the future. I've just never warmed up to the guy.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: Congressman Michael D. Harter (1846-1896) in honor of the Columbian Exposition of 1893

Prediction: The doctrine that the government which governs least governs best will, much earlier than 1993, be the unwritten but fundamental law.

Reality: Nice try, congressman. This guy might as well be an ancestor of Ron and Rand Paul. He is sold on the entire modern libertarian bill of goods, including the gold standard. But what really happened in the 20th Century was the growth of government, for good and for ill, a lot for good. It is still in doubt whether the idea of "promoting the general welfare" remains part of focus of government in this country, or if the preamble of the Constitution will be revised to "Fuck you, I've got mine."

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

The weekly schedule is interrupted for a repeat consideration of list of predictions from the early 1990s that is pretty strong.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Friday, April 18, 2014

18 April 2014

 Birthdays
Britt Robertson b. 1990 (Tomorrowland, Under the Dome, Power Rangers Time Force)
Rosie Huntington-Whiteley b. 1987 (Transformers: Dark of the Moon, Mad Max: Fury Road [2015])
Laura Mennell b. 1980 (Alphas, Smallville, Supernatural, Fringe, Eureka, Watchmen, Flash Gordon [TV], Fallen, The 4400, Stargate: Atlantis, Andromeda, Millennium)
Ethan Cohn b. 1979 (Intelligence, The Amazing Spider-Man, Alice in Wonderland [2010], Heroes, Lady in the Water)
Melissa Joan Hart b. 1976 (Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Martin Papazian b. 1976 (The Amazing Spider-Man, Supernatural, The Island, Charmed)
Edgar Wright b. 1974 (director, Ant-Man, Shaun of the Dead)
David Tennant b. 1971 (Doctor Who, Fright Night, The Sarah Jane Adventures, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, The Quatermass Experiment [2005])
David Hewlett b. 1968 (Time Machine: Rise of the Morlocks, Rise of the Planet of the Apes, Stargate, Splice, Mutant X, Cube, Scanners II)
Maria Bello b. 1967 (Touch, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor)
Eric McCormack b. 1963 (Alien Trespass, The Andromeda Strain, Free Enterprise, Highlander, The Lost World)
Benedict Taylor b. 1960 (Star Wars: Episode I)
Eric Roberts b. 1956 (Sharktopus, Heroes, Pandemic, Witchblade, The Dark Knight, Doctor Who, so much low budget crap I can’t even count it all... and I counted Sharktopus, for pity's sake)
Rick Moranis b. 1953 (Honey, I Shrunk the Kids, Ghostbusters, Little Shop of Horrors)
James Woods b. 1947 (Coma [TV], Vampires [1998], Contact, Cat’s Eye, Videodrome)
Robert Hooks b. 1937 (M.A.N.T.I.S., The Flash, V [1985], Star Trek III: The Search for Spock, Time Express)
James Drury b. 1934 (Men Into Space, Forbidden Planet)
Clive Revill b. 1930 (Lois & Clark, Dracula: Dead and Loving It, Babylon 5, Star Trek: The Next Generation, C.H.U.D. II, Rumplestiltskin, Twilight Zone [1986], Wizards and Warriors, Death Ray 2000, The Empire Strikes Back, One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing, The Little Prince, The Legend of Hell House)
Gunter Meisner b. 1926 died 5 December 1994 (Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, The Boys from Brazil)
Nigel Kneale b. 1922 died 29 October 2006 (author, Quatermass)
Frank R. Paul b. 1884 died 29 June 1963 (artist)

Plenty of actors and actresses deserve their chance in The Picture Slot today, including last year's choice David Tennant, but instead we have the artwork of Frank R. Paul, whose illustrations in the early years of the magazine Amazing Stories sets the stage for so much of the artistic style of sci-fi for decades after.

Many happy returns of the day to the living and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.


Predictor: Tom de Haven in Freaks' Amour, published 1979

Prediction: This story concerns the interrelationships of a group of wretched freaks created by a small-scale atomic accident on "Caliban night," April 18, 1988, and forced to earn their living doing "rape shows" in nightclubs.

Reality: This is another story with a date in it - this time an exact date - from the nuclear holocaust fiction database of Paul Brians. While alien invasion and science gone wrong are two major themes of strife in sci-fi, the two "realistic" fears most exploited in the genre were/are nuclear war and overpopulation. We haven't had a nuclear war since Nagasaki and knock wood it stays that way. As for overpopulation... a lot of people feel we are already there.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We return to 1893, where white guys with facial hair looked boldly into the century just ahead of them and predicted things would go their way.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 

Thursday, April 17, 2014

17 April 2014

Birthdays
Paulie Litt b. 1995 (Wizards of Waverly Place, Speed Racer, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind)
Rooney Mara b. 1985 (Her, A Nightmare on Elm Street)
Nicholas D’Agosto b. 1980 (Heroes, Supernatural, Psycho Beach Party)
Jennifer Garner b. 1972 (Elektra, Daredevil, Dude, Where’s My Car)
Henry Ian Cusick b. 1967 (The 100, Fringe, Lost)
William Mapother b. 1965 (American Horror Story, Another Earth, Lost, Threshold, I <3 Vampires, Minority Report, Vanilla Sky)
Sean Bean b. 1959 (Percy Jackson, Game of Thrones, The Island, Lord of the Rings)
Kristine Sutherland b. 1955 (Buffy, Honey, I Shrunk the Kids)
Roddy Piper b. 1954 (They Live, RoboCop [TV], Highlander, Superboy, Hell Comes to Frogtown)
David Bradley b. 1942 (Harry Potter, The World’s End, Game of Thrones, The Strain, An Adventure in Space and Time, Doctor Who, Captain America: The First Avenger, The Sarah Jane Chronicles)
Ron Miller b. 1933 (producer, TRON, The Watcher in the Woods, The Black Hole, The Cat from Outer Space, Escape to Witch Mountain, Son of Flubber)
Michael Forest b. 1929 (Seven Days, King Kong Lives, Star Trek, Twilight Zone, Viking Women and the Sea Serpent, The Deadly Mantis)
William Holden b. 1918 died 16 November 1981 (Damien: Omen II)
Paul Langton b. 1913 Died 15 April 1980 (Twilight Zone, The Incredible Shrinking Man, Invisible Invaders, The Cosmic Man)

A lot of tempting choices for the Picture Slot today. Michael Forest was Apollo on the original Star Trek, Kristine Sutherland was Buffy's mom and easily pretty enough for Pretty Girl = Picture Slot, as are Rooney Mara and Jennifer Garner, but I was in a Games of Thrones mood, so we get a picture of Ned Stark on the Iron Throne. David Bradley plays Walder Frey on the show, host of the infamous Red Wedding. It's hardly a spoiler to say that in the books and on the TV series, anyone can die at any time.

Many happy returns to the living on the list (which includes Sean Bean, an actor who is still alive even though most of the characters he plays get killed) and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 


Predictor: Byte Magazine, April 1980 issue

Prediction: wrist watch sized computers

Reality: Ha! This picture has been popping up several places on the Internet in the past week, usually with some "lookit how stoopid!" snark included. I'm certain the illustration was meant to be tongue in cheek, because you would need a tiny typist shrunk down to use the keyboard, unless... in the future we will be able to type using the POWER OF OUR MINDS!

In reality, this points out an important limitation of technology miniaturization, which is how to make input/output work. The texting generation have decided that two thumb typing is an acceptable method of input, but cell phones have stopped shrinking because the market wants a reasonably sized screen.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Our regular weekly schedule is interrupted once more for an exact date from a post-nuclear apocalypse... with nightclubs!

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
 
 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

16 April 2014

 Birthdays
Jordana Beatty b. 1998 (Superman Returns, Legend of the Seeker)
Rhiana Griffith b. 1985 (Pitch Black)
Gina Carano b. 1982 (Almost Human)
Lukas Haas b. 1976 (Touch, Inception, The Twilight Zone, Breakfast of Champions, Mars Attacks!, Solar Babies, Amazing Stories, Testament)
Sean Maher b. 1975 (Arrow, Warehouse 13. Serenity/Firefly)
Karl Yune b. 1975 (Real Steel, Speed Racer, Anacondas: The Hunt for the Blood Orchid)
Peter Billingsley b. 1971 (producer, Iron Man, Zathura)
Jon Cryer b. 1965 (The Outer Limits, Superman IV: The Quest for Peace, Amazing Stories)
Boyd Banks b. 1964 (Mr. Babysitter’s a Vampire, Lost Girl, Diary of the Dead, The Fountain, Land of the Dead, Phil the Alien, Wonderfalls, Dawn of the Dead)
Ricco Ross b. 1960 (Caper, Bite Me, Hydra, Babylon 5, Highlander, Timelock, Gulliver’s Travels [1996], The Tomorrow People [1992], Doctor Who, Aliens)
Ellen Barkin b. 1954 (Buckaroo Banzai)
Jay O. Sanders b. 1953 (Green Lantern, The Day After Tomorrow)
Billy West b. 1950 (Futurama, 2084, Invader ZIM, Samurai Jack, countless other voice work)
David Graf b. 1950 (Deep Space Nine, Voyager, Lois & Clark, Quantum Leap)
Barry Nelson b. 1919 died 7 April 2007 (The Shining, Battlestar Galactica, Twilight Zone)

If I included all voice work done by actors when making the lists of appearances, I could be typing all morning. But I do make the exception, and voice actor Billy West deserves it. While there have been many animated hit shows this century, I have my personal favorites and Invader ZIM is certainly one of them.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to Barry Nelson, always glad to include an actor from the original Twilight Zone.


Movies released
Kick-Ass released, 2010


Predictor: T. Baron Russell in A Hundred Years Hence, published 1905

Prediction: Where improved facilities for travel enable men to live at a great distance from their work, the same facilities will enable their wives to do their shopping in the centres of commerce. Consequently, except for a few highly perishable commodities, such as milk, butter and the like, small shopkeepers in residential neighbourhoods will be driven out of business, as they are in fact already being driven out of it in the suburbs and dependencies of all large cities.

Reality: Russell could be docked a point or two for not realizing women would be a major part of the workforce in the 21st Century, but the idea of greater distances to get stuff in the suburbs explains California to a tee. I've only visited a few suburbs in other states and they didn't seem all that different. He also writes about large department stores killing smaller businesses, which of course sounds a lot like Walmart.

Nice job, Mr. Russell.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Breaking up the regular schedule for a prediction from a 1981 Byte magazine cover that is going viral right now.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!
   

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

15 April 2014

Birthdays
Maisie Williams b. 1997 (Game of Thrones)
Emma Watson b. 1990 (Harry Potter, This is the End)
Alice Braga b. 1983 (I Am Legend, Elysium, Predators, Repo Men, Blindness)
Seth Rogen b. 1982 (This is the End, Paul, The Green Hornet, Donnie Darko)
Luke Evans b. 1979 (The Hobbit, Dracula Untold, Immortals, Clash of the Titans [2010])
Richard Whiteside b. 1968 (The Hobbit, Avatar)
Kamala Lopez b. 1964 (Star Trek: Voyager, Lois & Clark, Total Recall)
Thomas F. Wilson b. 1959 (Back to the Future, Zoom, Lois & Clark, Sabrina, the Teenage Witch)
Emma Thompson b. 1959 (Men in Black 3, Harry Potter, Nanny McPhee, I am Legend)
Glenn Shadix b. 1952 died 7 September 2010 (Carnivale, Planet of the Apes [2001], Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Hercules: The Legendary Journeys, Multiplicity, Demolition Man, Beetlejuice)
Sam McMurray b. 1952 (Lake Placid 2, The Tick, Addams Family Values, Hard Time on Planet Earth, C.H.U.D.)
Robert Walker Jr. b. 1940 (The Six Million Dollar Man, Beware! The Blob, Death in Space, The Invaders, The Time Tunnel, Star Trek)
Elizabeth Montgomery b. 1933 died 18 May 1995 (Bewitched, Twilight Zone)
Jean Willes b. 1923 died 3 January 1989 (The Munsters, Twilight Zone, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Adventures of Superman, Abbott and Costello Go to Mars)
Michael Ansara b. 1922 died 31 July 2013 (Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Babylon 5, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, I Dream of Jeannie, Land of the Giants, Star Trek, The Time Tunnel, Bewitched, Lost in Space, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, The Outer Limits)
Hans Conried b. 1917 died 5 January 1982 (The Cat from Outer Space, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Lost in Space, The Monster That Challenged the Word, The Twonky, The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.)
John Williams b. 1903 died 5 May 1983 (Battlestar Galactica, Twilight Zone, Visit to a Small Planet)

Let me clear up one thing early. John Williams, the actor born in 1903, is not John Williams the composer, who is very much alive. Williams the actor was a tall distinguished Englishman with a lovely moustache whose best known work is in non-genre films like Sabrina and Dial M for Murder.

As for the Picture Slot... iconic much? The people I count for iconic genre roles on this list are Michael Ansara, Elizabeth Montgomery, Robert Walker Jr. for Star Trek, Emma Thompson, Thomas F. Wilson as Biff in Back to the Future, Emma Watson and the actual person in the Picture Slot, Maisie Williams, who plays Arya Stark on Game of Thrones. I put this picture of her with Sophie Turner who plays her older sister Sansa to point out an interesting tidbit. These two actresses are one year apart in age, Maisie now 17 and Sophie just turned 18 in February. The characters are supposed to be several years apart.

Many happy returns of the day to all the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
Predictor: Ray Kurzweil in The Age of Spiritual Machines, published 1999

Prediction: By 2009, there is increasing interest in massively parallel neural nets, genetic algorithms and other forms of "chaotic" or complexity theory computing.

Reality: It's hard to call this one true or false because it predicts "increasing interest". There has been interest in the field since the 1980s. Going online, I see a hell of a lot of scholarly papers from journals and damn little advertising from companies actually implementing a massively parallel neural net.

The biggest problem I see here is managing the software project that makes this thing work. Once technology becomes the engine of a hugely profitable industry sector, the evolutionary steps tend to be incremental instead of drastic like this one.

This is the last prediction from Kurzweil's book I'll be using. Regular readers will get the distinct impression that I consider Kurzweil a prat, to use a mildly offensive British slang term. Regular reader Lockwood gave a link to a story about futurologists printed in The New Statesman. In it, we discover that Kurzweil got a job at Google based on his books.

I wonder if it would make sense to write a sci-fi story about a planet being run by con men, top to bottom on the food chain. It might read too much like the business section of the newspaper, and competing with newspapers does not sound like the way to make a buck these days.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

T. Baron Russell is back, baby.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Monday, April 14, 2014

14 March 2014

Birthdays
Arthur Bowen b. 1998 (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2)
Abigail Breslin b. 1996 (Ender’s Game, Zombieland)
Graham Phillips b. 1993 (Ben 10)
Jo Osmond b. 1987 (Jupiter Ascending, Maleficent, Snow White and the Huntsman, Doctor Who)
Sarah Michelle Gellar b. 1977 (Buffy, Angel, Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, The Grudge, Southland Tales, Scooby-Doo)
Langley Kirkwood b. 1973 (Dredd, The Prisoner [2009], Dracula 3000, Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend)
Adrien Brody b. 1973 (Predators, King Kong, The Village)
Anthony Michael Hall b. 1968 (Zombie Night, Warehouse 13, The Dark Knight, Stephen King’s The Dead Zone, No Ordinary Family, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Edward Scissorhands, Weird Science)
Tim Holmes b. 1967 (Oz the Great and Powerful, Real Steel, Highlander)
Bob Clendenin b. 1964 (Star Trek [2009], Reaper, Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, The Tick, 3rd Rock from the Sun, Charmed, Dude, Where’s My Car?, Roswell, Star Trek: Voyager)
Gina McKee b. 1964 (MirrorMask)
Robert Carlyle b. 1961 (Once Upon a Time, SGU Stargate Universe, 28 Weeks Later, Eragon)
Peter Capaldi b. 1958 (Doctor Who, World War Z, Torchwood, Smilla’s Feeling for Snow, The Cloning of Joanna May)
Chris Ellis b. 1956 (Warehouse 13, The Dark Knight Rises, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles, The Island, Birds of Prey, Armageddon, Godzilla [1998], From the Earth to the Moon, The X-Files, Apollo 13, Addams Family Values)
Bruce Sterling b. 1954 (author, Islands in the Net, The Difference Engine [with William Gibson])
Dave Gibbons b. 1949 (artist, Watchmen, Breakthrough)
John Shea b. 1949 (Agent X, Mutant X, Lois & Clark, Honey I Blew Up the Kid, Freejack, Man From Atlantis)
Julie Christie b. 1941 (Red Riding Hood [2011], Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, DragonHeart, Fahrenheit 451, The Andromeda Breakthrough)
Erich von Daniken b. 1935 (author, Chariots of the Gods)
Jack Mc Devitt b. 1935(author, 2007 Nebula for Seeker)
Jay Robinson b. 1930 died 27 September 2013 (Dracula [1992], Transylvania Twist, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Buck Rogers in the 25th Century, Dr. Shrinker, Kolchak: The Night Stalker, Planet of the Apes, Bewitched, Star Trek)
Gerry Anderson b. 1929 died 26 December 2012 (writer, Captain Scarlet, Thunderbirds, Lavender Castle, Space Precinct, Space; 1999, UFO, Joe 90, Stingray, Fireball XL5, Supercar)
Rod Steiger b. 1925 died 9 July 2002 (End of Days, Modern Vampires, Mars Attacks!, The Kindred, The Illustrated Man)
Joseph Ruskin b. 1924 died 28 December 2013 (The Scorpion King, Star Trek: Enterprise, Star Trek: Voyager, Star Trek: Insurrection, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, The Sword and the Sorcerer, Captain America [1979], Project U.F.O., Wonder Woman, The Bionic Woman, The Six Million Dollar Man, Planet of the Apes, Land of the Giants, Star Trek, The Time Tunnel, Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea, Twilight Zone)
Philip Stone b. 1924 died 15 June 2003 (Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Flash Gordon, The Medusa Touch, Star Maidens, A Clockwork Orange, Unearthly Stranger)
Sir John Gielgud b. 1904 died 21 May 2000 (Merlin, DragonHeart, Gulliver’s Travels, Frankenstein [1984], Frankenstein: The True Story [1973], Alice in Wonderland [1966])

Now that's a list. I've decided to give The Doctors priority this year, but last year I gave the Picture Slot to Sarah Michelle Gellar and she could easily have been given a repeat engagement. (I was also proud to know something imdb.com didn't know, her an uncredited cameo in Dr. Horrible, sitting next to the groups in the scene where Captain Hammer sings Everyone's a Hero in Their Own Way.) Other strong choices are Julie Christie from Fahrenheit 451, as fabulous as fabulous babes get, the late Joseph Ruskin, though he got a Never to be Forgotten already, or some of the marionettes from a Gerry Anderson show, though to tell the truth they disturb me almost as much as clowns do. While I'm proud of the Dr. Horrible trivia coup, I'm a little ashamed that I didn't give Jay Robinson a send-off last year. I'm usually good at noting the obits and actors from the original Star Trek are always worth a mention. (He was the ambassador in Elaan of Troyius.) And that ignores acting legends like Sir John Gielgud and Rod Steiger.

Many happy returns to the living on the list and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.
 
 
Predictor: OMNI Future Almanac

Prediction: (reality in parentheses) Timetable for gene-spliced drugs

1983 Human insulin (exists)
1984 Human Growth Hormone (exists)
1984 Interferon (exists, not the wonder drug that was hoped for)
1985 Urokinase, blood clot dissolver (papers sited on the drug for mice, not humans)
1985 Leutenizing hormone releasing hormone for contraceptive (Long acting reversible contraceptive gets widespread use in about 2007)
1985 Thymosin immune booster (the link I found looks like it belongs to a quack)
1986 Factor VIII clotting agent (A 2010 paper says there is some hope in new research)
1986 Somatostatin for high blood pressure (lanreotide approved by FDA in 2007)
1987 Beta endorphin analgesic (papers about usage appear in the early 2000s)
1987 Dinorphin analgesic (looks like a dead end)
1987 MSH/ACTH memory enhancer (no success seen here)
1988 Bombesin appetite suppressant (still in research)
1988 Cholecystokinin appetite suppressant (still in research)
1988 Factor S sleep promoter (nothing found on this)

OMNI loved them some biotech back in the day. They thought Genenetech would be as big as General Motors by now. There have been successes of course, but it's still a minor part of the economy.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

We bid a fond farewell to Ray Kurzweil, with another prediction that didn't do so well.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

13 April 2014

Birthdays
Hannah Marks b. 1993 (The Amazing Spider-Man, Grimm, FlashForward)
Courtney Peldon b. 1981 (InAlienable, Third Rock from the Sun, Deep Space Nine, The Visitor, Lois & Clark, Harry and the Hendersons [TV])
Bokeem Wodbine b. 1973 (Riddick, The Host, Total Recall [2012], Blade: The Series, The X-Files)
Rick Schroder b. 1970 (No Ordinary Family, Journey to the Center of the Earth [TV], The Andromeda Strain [2008])
Andrew Plevin b. 1968 (Inception, Witchville, Blood: The Last Vampire, Batman Begins)
Erick Avari b. 1952 (Warehouse 13, InAlienable, Flight of the Living Dead, Dark Matter, Heroes, Daredevil, The X-Files, Star Trek: Enterprise, Planet of the Apes [2001], Stargate SG-1, The Mummy, Babylon 5, Lois & Clark, VR.5, Deep Space Nine, Stargate, SeaQuest 2032, Star Trek: Next Generation)
Peter Davison b 1951 (5th Doctor) b. 1951 (Doctor Who, The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy [TV], The Tomorrow People)
Ron Perlman b. 1950 (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Conan the Barbarian [2011], Season of the Witch, The Devil’s Tomb, I Sell the Dead, Mutant Chronicles, Outlander, Absolon, Star Trek: Nemesis, Blade, The Tick [TV], Charmed, Alien Resurrection, Perversions of Science, Highlander [TV], The Island of Dr. Moreau [1996], The Adventure of Captian Zoom in Outer Space, The City of Lost Children, Beauty and the Beast, The Ice Pirates, Quest for Fire)
William Sadler b. 1950 (Iron Man 3, 666 Park Avenue, Fringe, The Mist, Wonderfalls, Roswell, Deep Space Nine, RocketMan, Poltergeist: The Legacy, Bordello of Blood, The Omen [TV], Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey, Hard Time on Planet Earth, Project X)
Doug McGrath b. 1935 (Ghosts of Mars, Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Incredible Hulk, The Starlost)
Joyce Meadows b. 1933 (Lois & Clark, The Brain from Planet Arous)
Mari Blanchard b. 1923 died 10 May 1970 (Abbott and Costello Go to Mars)
Howard Keel b. 1919 died 7 November 2004 (The Day of the Triffids)

Good birthday list today. The real strength of the line-up is the guys born in the early 1950s, including this year's Picture Slot winner Peter Davison, the fifth Doctor. But there are also three great character actors, Erick Avari, William Sadler and last year's Picture Slot winner Ron Perlman. There is a step of familiarity with the public above the Oh That Guy level which I call "Hey, It's Abe Vigoda!" A lot of his most iconic roles are in heavy make-up, but I think Ron Perlman is almost at the Abe Vigoda level of recognizability. In any case, I love the work of those guys.

Many happy returns to all the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.

 
Predictor: Alfred Coppel in Dark December, published 1960

Prediction: Major Kenneth Gavin emerges into a blasted world after an eight-month-long war sometime during the 1970s. Outside the sheltered bunkers where men like himself considered what they were doing merely a technical problem--a job to be done--everything he has fought for and loved has been destroyed.

Reality: Once again, a tip of the hat to Paul Brians and his great database of nuclear war fiction. As I often do on Sundays, the prediction is nicked verbatim from his description of the work, most of which I have not read.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Monday. OMNI Future Almanac.

'Nuff Said.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!

Saturday, April 12, 2014

12 April 2014

 Birthdays
Saoirse Ronan b. 1994 (How to Catch a Monster, The Host)
Brooklyn Decker b. 1987 (Battleship)
Jennifer Morrison b. 1979 (Once Upon a Time, Star Trek [reboot], The Chronicle)
Claire Danes b. 1979 (Stardust, Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Princess Mononoke)
Marley Shelton b. 1974 (The Lottery, Dark Shadows [TV movie], Sin City, Pleasantville, Warriors of Virtue, Hercules in the Underworld)
Shannen Doherty b. 1971 (Charmed, Category 7: The End of the World)
Nicholas Brendon b. 1971 (Buffy, Demon Island, Psycho Beach Party)
Kelly Donovan b. 1971 (Buffy)
Michael Wiseman b. 1967 (The X-Files, Planet of the Apes, Star Trek: Voyager, Perversions of Science, Predator 2)
Tracy Torme b. 1959 (writer, Carnivale, Odyssey 5, Sliders, Star Trek: the Next Generation)
Tom Noonan b. 1951 (The Astronaut’s Wife The X-Files, Last Action Hero, RoboCop 2, The Monster Squad, Wolfen)
Tom Clancy b. 1947 died 1 Oct 2013 (author, Tom Clancy’s Net Source, The Sum of All Fears)
Ed O’Neill b, 1946 (The 10th Kingdom, W.E.I.R.D. World)
Charles Napier b. 1936 died 5 October 2011 (One Eyed Monster, The 4400, Dinocroc, Alien Species, Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, Lois & Clark, Frogtown II, Future Zone, Alien from the Deep, The Incredible Hulk, Deep Space, Star Trek)
Alvin Sargent b. 1927 (screenwriter, Spider-Man 2 and 3)

Last year in the Picture Slot it was Nicholas Brendon and his twin brother Kelly Donovan. Nick was Xander on Buffy and Kelly was sometimes his double. But this year I went with Oh That Guy actor Charles Napier, with a picture of him from the "Planet O' Hippies" episode of Star Trek. (Regular watchers will remember the "Planet o'" episodes: Planet O' Gangsters, Planet O' Hippies, Planet O' Cowboys, Planet O' Nazis, etc.) I didn't know that Charles Napier was in a mess of Russ Meyer movies, which I found out doing research on imdb.com. Later in his career he plays a lot of gruff cops and military men. The other surprise was Alvin Sargent working on the Spider-Man movies. He is best known for his screenplays from the 1960s and 1970s, none of them genre, including The Sterile Cuckoo, Paper Moon, Bobby Deerfield and Ordinary People.

Many happy returns to the living on the list, and to the dead, thanks for all the memories.



Predictor: William Eleroy Curtis, writer, asked to comment on the 20th Century in honor of the 1893 Columbian Exhibition held in Chicago.

Prediction: The manifest destiny of the United States is to dominate the American hemisphere. This will  be accomplished not by political intrigue, not by diplomatic negotiations, not by force of arms, not by the annexation of territory and not by the establishment of protectorates, but by the influence of example and by commercial relations.

Reality: First things first. Lovely beard.

And then there's the prediction. The United States does dominate the hemisphere and quite a bit of the other hemisphere as well.

If he had stopped at that first sentence, it would have been a big win. But all those things we weren't gonna have to do to accomplish the feat? We did all of them.

A lot.

Sorry, Mr. Curtis, influence and commerce are all well and good, but sometimes you have to cut corners, hit somebody upside their head and take their shit.

You know, just to speed things along.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

It's gonna be Sunday already, the day to sleep in, make a nice breakfast and get on the computer to read about nuclear war.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!


Friday, April 11, 2014

11 April 2014

Birthdays
Marcus Johns b. 1993 (The Punisher)
Dakota Blue Richards b. 1994 (The Golden Compass)
Kelli Garner b. 1984 (Buffy)
Tricia Helfer b. 1974 (Battlestar Galactica, Bloodwork, No Ordinary Family, Warehouse 13, Supernatural, Them [2007], Jeremiah)
Jennifer Esposito b. 1973 (Dracula 2000)
Jerry Becker b. 1951 (Charmed, Spider-Man, Angel, The Cell, Mystery Men)
Bill Irwin b. 1950 (Interstellar, lady in the Water, Third Rock from the Sun)
John Milius b. 1944 (writer/director, Conan the Barbarian)
Joel Grey b. 1932 (Warehouse 13, Buffy, Star Trek: Voyager)

Okay, I'll say it. This is a short list. When it comes to iconic roles and the Pretty Girl = Picture Slot rule, Tricia Helfer dominates this group, much in the same way she dominates certain areas of my brain. I might go with Joel Grey from Buffy one of these days just because I'm such a Whedonverse nerd, but don't hold me to that.

'Cos she's purdy.

Many happy returns to the living on the list, and to the dead... wait a second!

Nobody's dead!

Yay! Let's keep it that way, folks!

Predictor: Dr. Paul Ehrlich in The Population Bomb, published 1968

Prediction: Scenario #1
1972: War in Thailand

Jan. 1973: China sends troops to Thailand

U.S. uses tactical nukes on Chinese air bases

China retaliates with five dirty bombs from subs sending fallout on the West Coast, 100,000,000 deaths

Reality: I cannot overstress how much Ehrlich's book sucks when he gets to specific dates. I may get labeled a concern troll when it comes to doomsday scenarios about current problems like climate change, but here is my defense.

There is no "believing" in climate change, much in the same way there is no "believing" in evolution or a heliocentric solar system. These things are real and anyone telling you otherwise is selling something, and what they sell isn't in your best interests.

I am not a climate change skeptic. I am a prediction skeptic and regular readers will understand why.

Looking one day ahead... INTO THE FUTURE!

Back to 1893, an era of bold optimism and facial hair.

Join us then... IN THE FUTURE!